* you want to be traditionally published
* you want someone experienced to help guide your career
* you want to learn how to edit like a pro
* you want to sell foreign and movie rights
* you want answers to your newbie questions 2/
* you want to self publish
* you're not willing to compromise on your edits
* you don't think their expertise is worth 15% of your advance
I... can't think this way. Literary agents have been crucial to my career. 3/
1. Have a finished, revised, edited, polished manuscript.
2. Write a query letter for your book
3. Send your query to agents who rep your genre and are open to submissions
4. Repeat steps 1-4 until you're offered representation. 4/
* revised (deep edits, big cuts, plot problems)
* edited (pass through to make sure the revision works)
* polished (drill down to sentence level to make it sing)
then you're doing yourself a disservice. Agents can tell when you're rushing. 6/
1 = seems like a perfect fit
2 = this agent would work, but they're not super into my genre or there's some other reason that makes them tier 2
3 = not the best fit, but we'll try and see
And I queried widely across all 3 levels. 15/
* I will only speak to traditionally published genre fiction here-- not poetry or graphic novels or non-fiction.
* YMMV. Every journey is different. There are always exceptions.
* Slush works. I was found in slush with no prior publishing connections. 17/
1. You can see what kind of response you get. If I got 5 form rejections, I completely rewrote my query.
2. So you don't waste 6 weeks waiting for 1 response.
3. Because fortune favors the brave.
4. Why not? It's free. 19/
1. It's just not their jam.
2. They already rep something like it or the trend is not selling.
3. Their client stable is full.
4. Your book isn't sellable-- too long, too short, doesn't fit a genre